Regional Tree Census to Discover Canopy Cover

Sacramento, CA (June 5, 2007)- Every Saturday from June 23 to July 21, volunteers working with the Sacramento Tree Foundation will be conducting a science-based Tree Census in the Sacramento region. Data collected by these volunteers will help determine the species, size and health of trees throughout 479 urbanized square miles of the Sacramento region.

When: June 23 – July 21, 2007 (Saturdays)
Who: Volunteers and Sacramento Tree Foundation staff
What: Gathering information about trees
Where: Sacramento Region (22 cities and 6 counties in Sacramento Area Council of Governments Jurisdictions)
Why: To learn the number, types and health of trees in our urban forest
It is important to understand the current state of the urban forest in order to guide future planting and tree maintenance efforts to have the best, safest and healthiest urban forest. A healthy urban forest delivers the most benefits to residents, including shade, air pollution reduction, storm water capture and more.
Look for groups of three or four volunteers wearing orange vests and carrying traffic cones. They will drive and walk through neighborhoods analyzing small plots of land randomly assigned by a computer. If a random plot is on private property, they will ask the homeowner for permission to measure. The data from the trees measured on these plots will then be generalized to discover the extent and makeup of the region’s urban forest to guide future investments for optimal benefits and to improve our air quality.
“This is the largest project of its kind in the nation, so it’s especially exciting to see it is being conducting by volunteers,” says Cara Smith of the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
“But, just like real census takers, these volunteers are there only to count. They have a wealth of knowledge and a dedication to community, but they aren’t tree experts. In fact, anyone willing to spend some Saturdays out in the sunshine is welcome to volunteer for this,” adds Rob Kerth of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Rob is overseeing this tree census as part of the Urban Forest for Clean Air Demonstration Project which is modeling trees for air pollution benefits for the Environmental Protection Agency inclusion in Sacramento’s air quality improvement measures.
According to a NASA study conducted in 1999, the Sacramento area can reduce its ambient air temperature by up to three degrees if an additional five million trees are planted in the area. Sacramento has consistently ranked poorly in air quality.
Because of this and many other benefits of a healthy urban forest, in 2005, Sacramento region elected officials signed on to support the Sacramento Tree Foundation’s Greenprint. This regional urban forest initiative seeks to galvanize the Sacramento region around a goal of planting an additional five million trees for substantial improvements in summer peak temperatures and air quality.
This project is made possible through a partnership of the US Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research, Air Quality Management District and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
Residents seeking more information regarding this project or those interested in volunteering can call the Sacramento Tree Foundation (x122), Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.
For more information, contact:
Constance Crawford
Communications Coordinator
Sacramento Tree Foundation
201 Lathrop Way, Suite F
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 924-8733 ext 118
Fax: (916) 924-3803